Etta James

Birth Name: Jamesetta Hawkins

Date of Birth: January 25, 1938

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: January 20, 2012

Place of Death: Riverside, California, U.S.

*African-American (father)
*likely Swiss (father)

Etta James was an American singer.

Her mother, Dorothy Hawkins, was African-American.

According to Etta, her biological father was Rudolf Wanderone, a professional billiards player, who was the son of Swiss parents, Rudolph Wanderone and Rosa Bergin.

Etta was married to Artis Mills, with whom she had two children.

Sources: Genealogies of Etta James (focusing on Rudolf Wanderone’s ancestry) –

Joe Seer /


Curious about ethnicity

13 Responses

  1. neiltennant says:

    i don’t get it

    she claimed that she had met once WANDERONE when she was an adult but didn’t talk to him and did not say anything

    why ?

  2. WTF says:

    she looked blasian instead of mulatto

  3. neiltennant says:

    in the 70s she lost a lot of weight but in the golden 50s and 60s she had overweight(when it was not a crime to be big)

    no wonder that she had swiss-roots.

    i bet she loved cheese and chocolate in the 50s :-)

  4. neiltennant says:

    CORRECTION.—– its not sure if her Father was Rudolf Wanderone !!
    But she was of course biracial

    you should correct this. Its according to her that he was the billiard player Wanderone . But there is no proof

    but one thing is sure. Her father was white !!!!!!!

    in her early days of success in the 50s and 60s she was a big girl


    but good for her, that in that time being fat was not linked with discrimination.

    later she lost a lot of weight.

    But in several decades one can see, that she was biracial.
    She looked biracial, she had a rather white skin and european features.

    Her nose was typical european (even in the 50s ) and her eyes were hazel or nearly forest green-

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